Nov. 15, 2011
Complete Release in PDF Format
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18
#10 Washington at Utah 6 p.m. Pacific
Salt Lake City, Utah Crimson Court
Free Live Video provided by Utah
Live Chat on GoHuskies.com
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19
#10 Washington at Colorado 6 p.m. Pacific
Boulder, Colo. Coors Events Center
Live Video provided by Colorado for a fee
Live Chat on GoHuskies.com
THIS WEEK IN HUSKY VOLLEYBALL
Just two weeks remain in the regular season as the Husky volleyball team makes a push towards the postseason. But this week brings another first, as Washington (19-7, 11-7 Pac-12) visits Utah and Colorado for the first time as conference rivals. The Huskies will be in Salt Lake City on Friday to play the Utes and then travel to Boulder for a match with the Buffs on Saturday. Both matches get underway at 6 p.m. Pacific time.
Washington is coming off a stretch of four matches in a row against top-five teams, going 1-3 with a big win over Stanford last weekend. But UW cannot afford to exhale, as Utah and Colorado have been playing their best volleyball in recent weeks. The Utes upset Oregon in Eugene recently and took Cal to five sets at home. Colorado is still looking for its first Pac-12 win, but has won at least one set in six of its past eight matches.
Bianca Rowland has led the Husky offense of late, as she is hitting .482 over her past four matches. But overall the Huskies are still looking to put it all together on offense. They are 12-0 this year when hitting over .250, but have not hit that mark in a match since October 7. UW continues to lead the Pac-12 in both blocks and aces.
The Utes will provide a live video stream on Friday, and Colorado will have a live stream for a subscription fee. There will be live chats for both matches on GoHuskies.com as well.
UWTV TAKES THE HUSKIES LIVE
Washington will have a record 10 television appearances this season, including eight live broadcasts on UWTV during the Pac-12 season. Fans in the Seattle area can watch UWTV on channel 27 carried by Comcast. The new partnership will be the first chance fans will have to watch regular season matches on live television. UWTV broadcasts began with the Pac-12 opener against USC, and include home matches against UCLA, Oregon, Colorado, Utah, Arizona State, California, and Washington State. The home match against Stanford will be aired by ROOT Sports on a tape delayed basis, as will Washington's road match at California. In addition, every Husky home match, even those not televised, will be available to stream for free on GoHuskies.com.
LAST TIME OUT
The Huskies faced No. 3 Stanford and No. 5 California at home last week, their third and fourth matches in a row against top-five teams. On Friday against the Cardinal, UW came out hot, hitting .326 in the first set to take it 25-18. Washington then had four set points in the second, but the Cardinal hung on to take the set, 27-25, and then put UW in the hole with a 25-19 third set win. The Huskies took back the momentum with a 25-22 fourth set win. In the fifth, Krista Vansant took over, hammering seven kills on 11 swings to lead UW to the 15-10 set win and the victory. Gabbi Parker had a career-high 16 kills and nine digs, and Bianca Rowland hit .455 with 11 kills. Jenna Orlandini tallied a career-high 29 digs, and Jenni Nogueras had the first double-double of her career with 29 assists and 14 digs. UW won despite being outhit, .215 to .193, their first time winning with a lower attack percentage since 2008. The next night, the Huskies fell behind the Bears before nearly forcing another fifth set, but Cal rallied late in the fourth set to take the match, 25-21, 25-23, 22-25, 25-23. After dropping the first two sets, UW was down 14-7 in the third set before an 11-1 run helped get them back in the thick of it. The Huskies held a 23-21 fourth set lead but Cal took the final four points. Rowland again was strong, hitting .435 with 12 kills. Vansant had 13 kills and 10 digs but Washington hit just .135 for the night.
SCOUTING THE UTES
Utah is 4-15 in its first Pac-12 season and 9-19 overall, but the Utes have proven to be dangerous of late. They upset Oregon in Eugene and then took Cal to five sets on Nov. 3, then lost another five-setter at ASU last weekend. Utah's biggest strength has been its block, as it ranks third in the Pac-12 and fifth in the NCAA with 3.03 blocks per set. Serving has been tougher, as Utah is last in the conference with 86 aces and has made 219 service errors, though sophomore Morgan Odale has been effective with 24 aces. Utah is hitting .182 for the year and allowing a .199 mark. Odale (2.73 kills/set), Chelsey Schofield (2.80), and Erin Redd (2.40) have split most of the offensive output. Redd is third in the league and 16th nationally with 1.39 blocks per set, and senior Danielle Killpack is also stuffing 1.32 per set to rank fifth in the Pac-12 and 26th nationally. In the first meeting between the teams this year, UW had a 25-17, 28-26, 25-14 win, holding Utah to .081 on offense. Krista Vansant hit .278 with 14 kills. Washington now holds a 6-4 lead in the all-time series.
SCOUTING THE BUFFALOES
Colorado is still searching for its first league win but has hardly been a pushover of late. Earlier this month, CU took a set from both Stanford and Cal at home, and lost in five sets at Arizona in its last outing. Colorado ranks last in the league in both hitting percentage, at .164, and opponent hitting percentage, with teams at .247. Junior Kerra Schroeder ranks eighth in the Pac-12 with 3.91 kills per set, and senior setter Alyssa Valentine is ninth with 9.27 assists per set. Megan Beckwith also ranks eighth in digs with 4.12. In the first meeting in Seattle, UW held the Buffs to .069 on offense, and Kylin Muñoz excelled for UW with 15 kills and a .394 attack percentage. The Huskies had 13.0 blocks to 4.0 for CU. Washington leads the all-time series, 4-1.
HUSKIES IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
With a 1-1 record last week against a pair of top-five opponents, the Huskies moved up one spot in the AVCA rankings, coming in at No. 10 this week. The Huskies have been ranked as high as No. 2 this year after a 15-1 start to the year. That was UW's highest ranking since November of 2006. Prior to this season, the only time the Huskies have been higher was in 2004 and 2005, when they were the top-ranked team in the country at least once each year. The Pac-12 continues to dominate the top-10, with USC supplanting UCLA as the top-ranked team in the country. UCLA dropped to No. 2, followed by California, then Nebraska and Stanford at four and five. UW gives the Pac-12 five teams in the top-10. Oregon is also 15th this week after upsetting UCLA. The Dawgs began the season ranked seventh nationally in both the AVCA and Volleyball Magazine polls. That was down one spot from where UW finished the 2010 season. In the NCAA's official RPI rankings, the Huskies come in at No. 29 this week. The RPI measures a team's record, its opponent's record, and the record of the opponent's opponents.
The Dawgs are a young squad but there are a few numbers to keep an eye on this season. The first milestone came from Coach McLaughlin, as he reached the 250 wins mark at Washington with the victory at Gonzaga on Sept. 3. McLaughlin is already the winningest coach in program history, raising the bar with each subsequent win. Senior Bianca Rowland just became the eighth Husky to play in 400 career sets, now having apeared in 414. Rowland is also making her way up the charts in career blocks, as she recently passed Lisa Underhill for fifth in UW history with 457 blocks. Her 432 block assists also rank fifth in school history. Rowland also recently passed the 1,000 career points plateau, the eighth Husky to do so since points began being tracked in 2000. Fellow senior Lauren Barfield may not have seen as many sets as Rowland, but her career average continues to climb. At 1.13 career blocks per set, Barfield currently is eighth in school history, while Rowland has upped her career average to 1.10 which is ninth. Evan Sanders, while spending her first three years at Colorado State, just passed the three thousand career assist mark last week against Stanford. She currently has 3,028.
A look at the current stats finds the Huskies near the top of the NCAA in a number of categories. Washington continues to lead the NCAA with a rate of 3.26 blocks per set, which would be their highest as a team in rally scoring and highest overall since 1997. Bianca Rowland (1.50) ranks second in the Pac-12 and seventh nationally, and Lauren Barfield (1.34) is fourth in the conference and 24th nationally in blocks per set. Both are well ahead of their previous season-best paces, as Rowland's best was 1.13 blocks last year and Barfield averaged 1.09 a year ago. Freshman Summer Ross is also ninth in the Pac-12 with 1.12 blocks per set, as the only outside hitter and only freshman in the top-10. The Huskies also lead the Pac-12 with 1.54 aces per set. They've only been out-aced by an opponent three times. Washington has done the service work collectively, as six Huskies have double digit ace totals. Summer Ross leads the way with 22 aces and Krista Vansant has 21 herself. Washington in 12-0 when hitting above .250 and also has a 16-0 mark when holding its opponent under .200.
The Huskies end the regular season by finally meeting up with their cross-state rivals Washington State for the first, and second time, this season. UW plays its home finale on Tuesday night, Nov. 22, at 7 p.m., then heads for Pullman to face WSU again on Friday, Nov. 25, with another 7 p.m. start time.